crown_pointe_home1As of Wednesday, July 1, 2009, Florida became one of the few states to offer $8,000 in down-payment assistance to qualified homebuyers, giving them the upfront benefit of the new federal tax credit, according to a recent Orlando Sentinel story. The Florida Homebuyer Opportunity Program, geared towards first-time buyers or anyone who has not owned a home for at a minimum, the last three years, was created by the state Legislature, which set aside $30 million for the program.

Qualified applicants cannot make more than $75,000 per year and couples cannot earn more than $150,000 to be eligible for the $8,000 or 10 percent of the property’s purchase price, whichever is less. The upfront nature of the program is beneficial in that it allows the funds to be used for down-payment assistance and fees. The local government and nonprofit agencies will be distributing the funds as they already provide down-payment help through the State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP). While the program is in effect, the money will most likely not be available until later in July or August.

The program, proposed by state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, requires that the buyers who receive the down payment must file for the tax credit on their federal tax return next year and also repay the agency that lent the assistance. Buyers who receive funds are allowed 18 months in which to repay the state, giving eligible buyers ample time to realize the benefits of the tax credit. The credit is an element of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the federal government’s stimulus package.

The end of November is the deadline to close on a property for buyers who wish to receive the state’s down-payment assistance. Avoid the time crunch and make an appointment to learn more about Seven Oaks. Our luxurious master-planned communities are a wonderful place to call home.

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